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Health Education: Driving under Influence

Jeremy Lefroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps his Department is taking to tackle drink-driving through education in schools and colleges. [90531]

Mr Gibb: The current, non-statutory programme of study for personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE) includes teaching pupils about risks and the consequences of their actions on themselves and others. Through National Curriculum science, pupils are currently taught the effects on the body of substance misuse including alcohol. We are reviewing both the National Curriculum and PSHE and will publish proposals for public consultation later this year.

Special Educational Needs: Training

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will implement the proposal by the British Dyslexia Association that teacher training

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courses should include mandatory training on recognising dyslexia, dyspraxia and other similar learning difficulties in children. [90735]

Mr Gibb: All teachers should have a clear understanding of the needs of pupils with special educational needs, including dyslexia and dyspraxia. In order to be awarded qualified teacher status from September, all trainee teachers must demonstrate that they can adapt their teaching to respond to the strengths and needs of all pupils, as set out in the new Teachers' Standards. Specifically, teachers will have to have a clear understanding of the needs of pupils with special educational needs or disabilities.

It is for training providers to decide what trainees should be taught to enable them to achieve the Teachers' Standards. The Department does not mandate content of initial teacher training courses.

Energy and Climate Change

Carbon Emissions: EU Law

Mr Raab: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment his Department made of the likely cost of complying with an EU target of reducing carbon emissions by 30 per cent. in each of the documents disclosed to the Information Commissioner and listed in paragraph 3 of the decision of the First-Tier Tribunal (General Regulatory Chamber, Information Rights) in Case EA/2011/0052, dated 8 November 2011. [91069]

Gregory Barker: On 8 November 2011 the First-Tier Tribunal (Information Rights) upheld the Information Commissioner's decision that the Department acted correctly in not disclosing the information listed in paragraph 3 of the tribunal's decision.

With regard to when this information will be available, I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to him on 16 January 2012, Official Report, column 615W.

Green Deal Scheme

Barry Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will put in place measures to ensure that Green Deal loans cannot be sold on the doorstep; and if he will make a statement. [90809]

Gregory Barker: We agree that illegal door step selling of the Green Deal should be prevented. Existing legislation sets out what is and is not acceptable, to protect consumers. We will ensure the code of practice for all Green Deal providers, assessors and installers recognises the existing legislation and allows for any participant found to be in breach to be prevented from operating under the Green Deal.

Green Deal Scheme: Mobile Homes

David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps he is taking to ensure that park home owners benefit from Green Deal measures, including owners who have their energy supplied through a third party and are not eligible for the warm home discount. [90586]

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Gregory Barker: Successful trials of insulation systems for park homes in 2011 have enabled these measures to be included in the carbon emissions reduction target (CERT) for the final year of the scheme. We are now looking at how we could ensure support continues to be available for park home residents through the new energy company obligation, which will form a key element of the Green Deal programme. Park home residents who receive electricity direct from a licensed electricity supplier will also be able to take advantage of Green Deal finance.

Renewable Energy: Manpower

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the number of jobs supported by renewable electricity generation in (a) the UK, (b) England, (c) Scotland and (d) Wales in the latest period for which figures are available. [89538]

Charles Hendry: Our analysis for the Renewable Energy Roadmap (published in July 2011) shows that the renewable energy sector already employs more than a quarter of a million people.

From April 2011 to November 2011, my Department identified a total of £2.46 billion announced and planned investments in the renewable energy sector, with the potential support of over 11,600 temporary and permanent jobs.

A map showing the location of these investments can be downloaded from our website at:

http://www.decc.gov.uk/assets/decc/11/meeting-energy-demand/renewable-energy/3994-renewables-investment-and-jobs-announced-1-april-t.pdf

While this does not show investments or jobs specifically in renewable electricity, it does provide a breakdown by English region and the devolved Administrations.

This is not a definitive list of the renewables market activity for this period and the total level of activity is likely to be significantly higher but it indicates the continuing realisation of growth and investment opportunities in the UK renewables sector.

Solar Power

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change with reference to paragraph 73 of the impact assessment on the consultation on feed-in tariffs for solar PV, whether the 1,000 to 10,000 gross full-time equivalent jobs estimated to be created in the solar sector in the three years to 2014-15, will be in addition to jobs currently supported by the PV industry. [91152]

Gregory Barker: In the 2012-13 to 2014-15 period we estimate the total number of gross full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs to be 1,000 to 10,000, based on new installations during that period.

This is a separate estimate from the 8,000 to 14,000 gross FTE jobs that we estimate were supported by solar PV installations to the end of October 2011.

Furthermore, it should be noted that current tariffs are providing returns well in excess of the 5% that was intended when the FITs scheme was launched. Any jobs

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that are affected are dependent on rates of support above those the scheme was intended to provide, and should not therefore be considered sustainable.

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the answer of 12 December 2011, Official Report, column 576W, on solar power: feed-in tariffs, what estimate he has made of potential changes in uptake in each year from 2011-12 to 2014-15; what assessment he has made of the causes of any such changes; and if he will place in the Library full details of the calculation referred to in the answer. [91153]

Gregory Barker: Estimates of future solar PV growth are extremely uncertain. DECC is currently reviewing its estimates in the light of responses to the current consultation on PV tariffs as well as other recent changes in the market, and will provide updated assessments for the final impact assessment published alongside the post-consultation policy response.

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the answer of 12 December 2011, Official Report, column 576W, on solar power: feed-in tariffs, what estimate he has made of the number of full-time equivalent jobs in the solar sector that would have been created had the recent changes to tariffs not been introduced. [91154]

Gregory Barker: It is difficult to estimate, and forecast accurately the numbers of jobs associated with any single technology or sector, such as solar PV. However, there are a range of methodologies that can, and are, being used to provide an indication; these inevitably lead to a range of estimates being calculated.

We did not carry out an assessment of the number of jobs that would have been created had the recent changes not been introduced. However, we estimate that 1,000 to 10,000 gross additional full time equivalent jobs could be created in this sector in the three years to 2014-15 under our proposals.

Furthermore, it should be noted that current tariffs are providing returns well in excess of the 5% that was intended when the FITs scheme was launched. Any jobs that are affected are dependent on rates of support above those the scheme was intended to provide, and should not therefore be considered sustainable.

Uranium: Prices

Mr Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the comparative advantages of (a) nuclear energy and (b) other forms of energy following the recent fall in the price of uranium. [89852]

Charles Hendry: The Government have not undertaken an assessment on the relative competitiveness of electricity generation technologies following reductions in the price of uranium. While a reduction in uranium prices in isolation improves the relative competitiveness of nuclear power, it has a limited effect on overall nuclear generation costs. This is because uranium represents a much smaller proportion of nuclear generation costs than the fuel costs for other electricity generation technologies.

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DECC commissions regular independent assessments of electricity generation costs. The latest reports can be accessed via the following link:

http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/about/ec_social_res/analytic_projs/gen_costs/gen_costs.aspx

Warm Front Scheme

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the budget for the Warm Front Scheme is in 2011-12; and how much of the funding so allocated has been spent to date. [91113]

Gregory Barker: The Department has allocated the Warm Front scheme a total budget of £143 million(1) for 2011-12. Of the £143 million, £86 million has been spent with a further £32 million of committed expenditure to date(2).

(1 )The total budget of £143 million consists of £110 million allocated to Warm Front and associated activities secured through the spending review 2010. Of this, £108 million was directly allocated to Warm Front. In addition DECC allocated £25 million to support the completion of outstanding work from 2010-11 with a further £10 million allocated to Warm Front in 2011-12 from the Department of Health.

(2) As of the week ending 7 January 2012.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Veterinary Services

Julian Sturdy: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she is taking to ensure that the closure of regional veterinary laboratories does not adversely affect the levels of disease among farm livestock. [87293]

Mr Paice: The majority of laboratory samples are currently sent by specialist couriers, so for most customers, the only change will be in the destination to which the samples are sent. Veterinary Investigation Officers will continue to work with private vets to reach diagnosis.

The ability to respond to disease outbreaks with surge in capacity is maintained because confirmatory tests for notifiable diseases are carried out by Weybridge, which is not part of the regional laboratory network.

Following the rationalisation of the laboratory services department, the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) will still retain capacity at the site of the post-mortem examination to carry out tests, e.g. for anthrax and TB, that are considered to be essential by our veterinary experts and these will be reported urgently.

At present, no AHVLA laboratory operates on weekends or bank holidays. This will change as a result of the rationalisation, to allow weekend working to improve turnaround times for samples received over this period.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Mr MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the role of the Office of High Representative in Bosnia-Herzegovina; and if he will make a statement. [90963]

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Mr Lidington: We continue to give our full support to the Office of the High Representative and High Representative Valentin Inzko. The High Representative plays a key role as the final authority for interpreting the General Framework Agreement for Peace (the ‘Dayton’ agreement) in respect of civilian implementation of the peace settlement in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The High Representative also acts as an important civilian safeguard against political instability. The Peace Implementation Council has determined that Bosnia and Herzegovina must fulfil certain conditions (comprising five objectives and two conditions) before the Office of the High Representative can close. These conditions have not yet been met.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Politics and Government

Mr MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on the compliance of Republika Srpska with (a) the Constitutional Court of Bosnia-Herzegovina and (b) other institutions established under the Dayton agreement; and if he will make a statement. [91002]

Mr Lidington: The UK Government are concerned that the Republika Srpska continues to question and challenge Bosnia and Herzegovina's state level institutions, competencies and laws, as well as the authority of the High Representative under the General Framework Agreement for Peace (the ‘Dayton’ agreement).

We strongly support, and maintain close contact with, the Office of the High Representative in monitoring such matters, and we defend state-level judicial institutions as legally constituted and necessary for upholding the rule of law.

We were particularly concerned at legal challenges to the Bosnia and Herzegovina State Court in April 2011. We have welcomed the subsequent launch of a Structured Dialogue on Justice between Bosnia and Herzegovina and the EU. The UK believes that the best prospect for a stable, prosperous and sovereign Bosnia and Herzegovina is as a member of the EU and NATO. As the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), underlined in his statement of 13 January 2012, following agreement on the formation of a new Bosnia and Herzegovina Council of Ministers, we call on all parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina to work together and display the determination, compromise and leadership required for Bosnia and Herzegovina to progress on this path.

Burma: Politics and Government

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received on the progress of negotiations between the Burmese government and the Karen National Union; and if he will make a statement. [90592]

Mr Lidington: The Karen National Union signed an initial agreement with a state level peace delegation from the Burmese Government on 13 January. It is the first step towards a formal, long term ceasefire and political process. Further talks are set to take place in the coming weeks.

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The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), welcomed this important and historic step in his written ministerial statement of the 16 January 2012, Official Report, column 28-29W.

Embassies: Flags

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which UK embassies and consulates (a) fly the EU flag and (b) have on their premises an EU flag for public display; and what cost has been incurred in purchasing such flags. [90785]

Mr Bellingham: The UK Representation to the EU, Brussels, display the EU flag at all times. On Europe day, UK missions in the EU and EU-applicant countries display the EU flag. Other UK missions may also display the EU flag on Europe day where this is normal local practice. Many other UK diplomatic missions hold an EU flag either to fly or for public display purposes on appropriate occasions. To obtain the exact figure and the costs incurred in purchasing these flags could be done only at disproportionate cost as details are not held centrally.

Kazakhstan: Elections

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on the recent elections in Kazakhstan. [90614]

Mr Lidington: Kazakhstan held parliamentary and local council elections on 15 January, including in Zhanaozen which was the scene of violent clashes last month. Initial results show President Nazarbayev's Nur Otan party winning 81% of the seats. They are joined by Ak Zhol and the Communist People's party (CPPK), who both passed the 7% threshold to secure seats.

The OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights' plan is now (ODIHR) initial evaluation of the elections was critical stating that the

“elections still did not meet fundamental principles of democratic elections”

and that there were

“serious and systematic shortcomings”.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office welcomes the fact that the elections took place peacefully and the move towards multi-party representation in parliament. However, we share many of the concerns raised by ODIHR and have encouraged an early response from the Kazakh authorities to the ODIHR’s report and recommendations, as a basis for ensuring fully free and fair elections in the future.

Nigeria: Fuels

Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the government of Nigeria on the effects of the removal of the fuel subsidy in that country. [90553]

Mr Bellingham: The removal of the fuel subsidy in Nigeria is an internal matter and the effects of removing or reducing the fuel subsidy are for the Nigerian

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Government to manage. However, the British Government have encouraged the Nigerian Government to pursue sound and effective economic reform plans accompanied by fiscal transparency. Removing the fuel subsidy is a valid economic objective which would allow the Nigerian Government to spend more on infrastructure and development projects to the benefit of the Nigerian public. We welcome the recent announcement by President Jonathan that the Nigerian Government are committed to tackling corruption in the petroleum industry as well as other sectors of the economy.

Nigeria: Oil

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on the recent nationwide protests in Nigeria regarding oil prices. [91026]

Mr Bellingham: Through the British high commission in Abuja, we have closely monitored the impact of President Jonathan's decision to remove fuel subsidies, which led to protests and a national strike from 9 January until action was suspended on 16 January. Regrettably, some outbreaks of violence led to loss of life, but the majority of protests were carried out in a peaceful manner. Negotiations between the Government and unions resulted in suspension of the Government decision and the strike, and averted a shut down in Nigerian oil production—without any discernible impact on oil prices. President Jonathan issued a statement, committing the Nigerian Government to tackling corruption in the petroleum industry and other sectors of the economy. We have encouraged the Nigerian Government to ensure that fiscal transparency and effective economic reform are implemented, although decisions on how to achieve that remain an internal matter for them. We will continue to monitor the situation in Nigeria, and ensure that our travel advice reflects developments.

Nigeria: Politics and Government

Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received on the causes of sectarian violence involving the Boko Haram in Nigeria. [90556]

Mr Bellingham: In the last year Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for attacks against a range of targets including government institutions, security forces and an international organisation, the UN. Recently, Boko Haram has also claimed responsibility for a number of attacks specifically targeted against Christians and Christian places of worship, although it remains the case that the majority of Boko Haram's victims to date have been Muslims, including Muslim religious leaders. We assess that the purpose of the attacks against Christians is to exacerbate religious and communal tensions. However, in some instances we judge that attacks carried out with criminal motives are also being ascribed to Boko Haram. Poverty, lack of economic opportunity, social inequality and political tensions all contribute significantly to insecurity in northern and central Nigeria.

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South Sudan: Politics and Government

Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the security situation in South Sudan; and if he will make a statement. [90343]

Mr Bellingham: We are greatly concerned about the security situation in parts of South Sudan, and particularly about the violence between the Lou Nuer and Murle tribes in Jonglei state. A number of lives were saved in Jonglei by the political and military actions of the Government of South Sudan (GoSS) and the UN, but it is important that lessons are learned and that protection of civilians is accorded the highest priority by the Government of South Sudan, with whom the primary responsibility lies, and the UN.

Sudan

Tony Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his policy is on trade with the Republic of Sudan. [90887]

Mr Bellingham: I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 12 December 2011, Official Report, column 608W.

Health

Disability: Children

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will assess the findings of the report entitled Disabled Children and Health Reform: Questions, Challenges and Opportunities, published by Every Disabled Child Matters and The Children's Trust; and if he will make a statement. [90884]

Anne Milton: The Department has considered the recommendations set out in the report entitled ‘Disabled Children and Health Reform: Questions, Challenges and Opportunities’, published by Every Disabled Child Matters and The Children's Trust.

A detailed response to each of the recommendations within the report was sent in correspondence between my noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Earl Howe) and Every Disabled Child Matters.

A copy of this letter has been placed in the Library.

Foetal Alcohol Syndrome

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department has taken to determine the prevalence of foetal alcohol spectrum disorders; and what assessment he has made of the cost-effectiveness of (a) prevention strategies and (b) targeted interventions for high-risk groups. [90941]

Anne Milton: In 2005, the Department commissioned the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit (NPEU) to review the evidence of foetal effects of prenatal alcohol exposure. The NPEU published its findings in 2006 as ‘Review of the Fetal Effects of Prenatal Alcohol Exposure’.

The review discussed in detail the difficulties of identifying accurately children with foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and alcohol neuro-developmental disorder and the resulting difficulties in estimating prevalence.

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The review considered the risks of foetal exposure to low to moderate alcohol consumption and to binge drinking during pregnancy.

The review found no consistent evidence of adverse effects from low-to-moderate prenatal alcohol consumption, although it also found that the evidence base was limited.

In 2007, UK chief medical officers (CMOs) published revised guidance on alcohol consumption during pregnancy, which took account of the NPEU's review. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) published further guidance on this subject for health professionals in England in 2008.

NPEU's review identified a number of research gaps, including levels of alcohol consumption during pregnancy, prevalence of FAS and foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), whether a ‘safe’ level of alcohol consumption could be identified, and how to characterise and diagnose neuro-developmental problems in children with FAS and FASD.

Prevention strategies include universal and targeted interventions. Among the former, advice on drinking in pregnancy and possible harmful foetal effects is incorporated in the Department's public health materials. A warning on drinking alcohol while pregnant or trying to conceive, consistent with the UK CMOs' guidance, will be included on alcohol labels as a result of an industry pledge under the Public Health Responsibility Deal, covering 80% of the off-trade market by the end of 2013.

NICE has published ‘Pregnancy and complex social factors: A model for service provision for pregnant women with complex social factors’ (NICE clinical guideline 110, September 2010). This includes advice on support for pregnant women who misuse substances, whether alcohol or drugs.

Health: Disadvantaged

Karen Lumley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment his Department has made of the effect of health trainers on the general health of the local population in deprived areas; [90655]

(2) how many health trainers there are in (a) England and (b) Worcestershire. [90657]

Anne Milton: The Department's Policy Research Programme has commissioned an evaluation of the health trainer initiative. The project looks at the ways in which the role has been interpreted and the types of advice given. Implementation is context-specific and it will be difficult to isolate and generalise about health impact within this or any subsequent research.

The Data Collection and Reporting Service system has about 85-90% coverage of health trainer services in England: this equates to 2,173 staff. For Worcestershire, the primary care trust organisation currently employs a total of 28 qualified or trainee health trainers, and health champions.

Hospitals: North Tees and Hartlepool

Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) pursuant to the answer of 28 June 2010, Official Report, column 407W, on Hospitals: Durham, if he will reconsider plans to implement the recommendations of the Darzi review of acute health services north of the River Tees; and if he will make a statement; [90481]

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(2) pursuant to the answer of 2 June 2010, Official Report, column 40W, on Hospitals: Wynyard, what plans he has for the future of the proposed new hospital at Wynyard in Hartlepool constituency; and if he will make a statement. [90482]

Mr Simon Burns: No. I refer the hon. Member to the answer of 28 June 2010, Official Report, column 407W, on Hospitals: Durham. The recommendations of the Darzi review of acute health services north of the River Tees were superseded by those put forward by the Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP). The “Momentum: pathways to healthcare” reconfiguration programme has been developed locally by North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, in liaison with the Tees Primary Care Trust cluster, to implement the recommendations made by the IRP.

Officials in the Department are currently reviewing the outline business case for a private finance initiative funding proposal for the development of the proposed new hospital at Wynyard. Subject to departmental approval, this application will also need to be approved by Her Majesty's Treasury in order to proceed.

Influenza: Vaccination

Andy Burnham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of general practitioner patients had the influenza vaccination in each primary care trust area in (a) 2009, (b) 2010 and (c) 2011. [91055]

Anne Milton: Data on the uptake of seasonal flu vaccine among general practitioner (GP) patients who were recommended to receive the seasonal flu vaccine in 2009 and 2010 at primary care trust (PCX) level were published in the Health Protection Agency's annual influenza report for the 2009-10 and 2010-11 flu seasons, ‘Seasonal influenza vaccine uptake amongst GP patient groups in England 2010-11’, and ‘Seasonal influenza vaccine uptake among the 65s and over and under 65s at risk in England winter season 2009-10’. A copy of each report has been placed in the Library.

Data on the uptake of seasonal flu vaccine in GP patients recommended to receive the seasonal flu vaccine at PCT level in the 2011-12 flu season, up to 31 December 2011 have been placed in the Library and are available on the Department's website at:

http://immunisation.dh.gov.uk

The Health Protection Agency will publish an annual report for the 2011-12 flu season later in 2012.

Leukaemia: Drugs

Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) with reference to the provision of a patient access scheme for the drug nilotinib by Novartis, what discussions he has had with Bristol-Myers Squibb on the provision of a similar scheme for the drug dasatinib; [90994]

(2) with reference to the provision of a patient access scheme for the drug nilotinib by Novartis, what his policy is on the provision of a similar scheme by Bristol-Myers Squibb with respect to dasatinib; [90995]

(3) with reference to the provision of a patient access scheme for the drug nilotinib by Novartis, what discussions he has had with leukaemia patients and

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their representatives on

(a)

this scheme and

(b)

the need for comparable schemes for other leukaemia treatments. [90997]

Paul Burstow: It is for the manufacturers of a drug to decide if they wish to submit a patient access scheme proposal to the Department for potential consideration as part of a National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence appraisal. The manufacturer of dasatinib has not approached the Department regarding the possibility of a patient access scheme for dasatinib.

We have had no discussions with leukaemia patients and their representatives on the nilotinib patient access scheme or the need for comparable schemes for other leukaemia treatments.

Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the recent decision by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence not to recommend dasatinib as a first or second line of treatment for patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia; and if he will make a statement. [90996]

Paul Burstow: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has not yet published final guidance on the use of dasatinib for the first-line treatment of chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML). NICE has recently consulted on its draft recommendations and will now consider the responses received before issuing final guidance.

NICE issued final technology appraisal guidance on 13 January 2012 that recommends the use of nilotinib for the treatment of patients with CML who are resistant or intolerant to standard-dose imatinib but does not recommend dasatinib or high-dose imatinib for this indication.

NICE is an independent body and we have made no assessment of its draft or final guidance on these drugs.

In the absence of final positive NICE technology appraisal guidance, primary care trusts (PCTs) are required to take funding decisions locally based on an assessment of the available evidence and to have processes in place to consider individual funding requests for drugs. Where a cancer drug is not routinely funded by a PCT, patients may be able to access it through the Cancer Drugs Fund.

Neurology

Andy Burnham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to the recent National Audit Office report on services for people with neurological conditions, what steps he plans to take to ensure equitable services across England for people with neurological conditions. [91056]

Paul Burstow: We are considering the National Audit Office report on services for people with neurological conditions, and will be responding in due course.

Home Department

Criminal Investigation: Costs

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average cost to the police is of investigating a crime leading to a (a) caution, (b) conviction in a magistrates' court, (c) conviction in a Crown court and (d) community sentence. [90790]

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Nick Herbert: The Home Office published estimates of the average cost of police activity associated with various crime types for 2003 in Home Office Online Report 30/05. These estimates can be found in table 2.2 via the following link. No estimates have been made of average police costs which relate specifically to investigation and particular disposals.

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20100413151441/http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs05/rdsolr3005.pdf

Crown Prosecution Service

John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what powers she has to instigate an independent review of a police operational decision not to pass evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service. [90032]

Nick Herbert: Under section 11(2) of the Police Reform Act 2002, the Secretary of State for the Home Department can require the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) to report

“about matters relating generally to the carrying out of its functions”.

Under section 54 (2B) of the Police Act 1996, the Home Secretary can require Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary to carry out an inspection of a police force.

Metropolitan Police

Mr Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what functions have been transferred from the Association of Chief Police Officers to the Metropolitan Police since May 2010; and if she will make a statement. [88789]

Nick Herbert: This is a matter for the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO).

Overseas Students: National Insurance Numbers

Justin Tomlinson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of introducing time restrictions on national insurance numbers for international students in the UK on student visas; and if she will make a statement. [88325]

Chris Grayling: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions.

We are currently examining a range of options for strengthening cross-government co-operation regarding the immigration status of overseas nationals in the UK and will make further announcements in due course.

Police and Crime Commissioners

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what responsibilities she proposes that Police and Crime Commissioners will have in respect of services for victims of crime. [90794]

Nick Herbert: In November 2011, I announced the Government's intention to consult on (a) the proposal that the majority of support services for victims of

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crime be commissioned by local commissioners, based on locally identified need and (b), that Police and Crime Commissioners be the local commissioners of such services. The detail of these proposals will be included in the forthcoming Victims and Witnesses consultation.

International Development

Christmas

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much his Department spent on (a) Christmas trees and (b) other Christmas decorations in 2011; and if he will make a statement. [91076]

Mr Duncan: Nothing.

Departmental Recruitment

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much his Department spent on recruitment agencies in each month since September 2011. [88002]

Mr Duncan: The Department for International Development (DFID) has a framework arrangement with recruitment agency Manpower Services to provide agency personnel for administrative positions. This framework arrangement is managed centrally through the Human Resources Division (HRD) and detailed spend is recorded. HRD also contracts administrative personnel through the agency provider Margaret Hodge when Manpower Services is unable to provide what is required.

The total DFID spend to Manpower and Margaret Hodge in each month since September 2011 is as follows:

£
Month Manpower Margaret Hodge

September

39,781.12

792.00

October

65,84975

1,584.00

November

33,771.41

1,821.60

December

(1)

1,188.00

Total

139,402.28

6,086.88

(1) Not yet available through the charging mechanism.

DFID departments have authority to contract agency personnel directly for specialist and technical roles. Records of this spend are not maintained centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Controlled Foreign Companies

Mr Ivan Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what representations he has received on the likely effect on developing countries of the proposed changes in the Finance Bill to the rules governing Controlled Foreign Companies. [90621]

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Mr Duncan: Department for International Development Ministers and officials meet regularly with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to discuss various issues including taxation and domestic resource mobilisation in developing countries. The matter of Controlled Foreign Companies has been raised on occasion in such meetings.

Mr Ivan Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the effect on developing countries of the proposed changes in the Finance Bill to the rules governing Controlled Foreign Companies. [90622]

Mr Duncan: The Government have not produced an assessment of the effect on developing countries of the proposed changes to the CFC rules as these rules are designed to prevent artificial diversion of UK profits. The Government work through a variety of channels to deliver high-quality capacity building in developing country tax administrations to ensure that these countries are in a position to collect the tax they are owed.

Overseas Aid

Mr Ivan Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what mechanisms are in place to ensure that official development assistance spending by other Government Departments or through pooled funding mechanisms such as the conflict pool complies with Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development guidelines. [90623]

Mr Duncan: The Department for International Development (DFID) is responsible for reporting UK official development assistance (ODA) to the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). This involves compiling the details of official development assistance spending by other Government Departments or through pooled funding mechanisms such as the conflict pool.

DFID works closely with other Government Departments to ensure that reported ODA expenditure complies with the DAC directives on ODA eligibility. This includes providing written guidance on specific types of expenditure and answering queries on ODA eligibility. In cases where there is uncertainty regarding ODA eligibility, DFID requests clarification from the DAC and ensures that the recommendations are followed. Both DFID and the DAC review the items of expenditure reported as ODA in each calendar year and any questions regarding ODA eligibility are resolved through mutual agreement with other Government Departments when necessary. As the UK representative on ODA compliance and reporting, DFID actively participates in the development of new criteria on ODA eligibility with other member states of the DAC.

Justice

Offenders: Mental illness

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many offenders held under the Mental Health Act 1983 have received employment and support allowance in each of the last three years; and at what cost to the public purse such allowances were paid. [89455]

20 Jan 2012 : Column 1013W

Chris Grayling: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions.

Persons who have been convicted of a criminal offence and are serving their sentence in hospital under the Mental Health Act are not entitled to social security benefits and are therefore not eligible to receive employment and support allowance (ESA). Therefore any cost to the public purse in these cases would be met by the Department of Health.

However, once the sentence has been served benefit would become payable. Information is not held centrally on the numbers of such people who receive ESA.

Northern Ireland

Flags

Mr Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what discussions he has had with the Northern Ireland Executive on plans to introduce an official flag for Northern Ireland. [91157]

Mr Paterson: The Union flag is the official flag of Northern Ireland. I have had no discussions with the Northern Ireland Executive in relation to this issue.

Human Trafficking

Mr Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assessment he has made of human trafficking from and into Northern Ireland. [91159]

Mr Paterson: Following the devolution of policing and justice functions in April 2010, matters relating to human trafficking are now devolved and are the responsibility of the Minister of Justice in Northern Ireland. My hon. Friend may wish to approach him directly on this matter.

Scotland

Enterprise Zones

Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he has had any discussions with the Scottish Government (a) orally and (b) through written communication on the location of enterprise zones in Scotland. [91161]

David Mundell: The UK Government introduced enterprise zones as part of the 2011 Budget. As a result, the Scottish Government received Barnett consequentials which the Scottish Government have now decided to use for a comparable scheme. The location of enterprise zones in Scotland is a matter for the Scottish Government to determine and I have therefore had no discussions with the Scottish Government on this matter. There has been discussion at official level with the Scottish Government and HM Treasury on the application of incentives within enterprise zones in Scotland which have a bearing on reserved matters such as state aid.

20 Jan 2012 : Column 1014W

Transport

Blue Badge Scheme

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many staff in her Department are responsible for liaising with local authorities on the blue badge scheme; [90936]

(2) what the cost has been of the online application system for the blue badge scheme since its introduction; [90998]

(3) how many complaints her Department received regarding the blue badge scheme online application system from (a) local authorities, (b) hon. Members and (c) members of the public in (i) 2011 and (ii) 2012 to date; [90999]

(4) how many blue badges were issued in each of the last three years. [91160]

Norman Baker: Three staff in the Department for Transport (DFT) are responsible, among other duties, for liaising with local authorities on the blue badge scheme.

The Blue Badge Improvement Service went live on 1 January 2012 in England and Scotland and will also go live in Wales in April 2012. This is a new system which is now being used by all local authorities in England and Scotland to develop a common database of blue badge holders and badges on issue, make a national online application form available via:

http://www.direct.gov.uk

and to print a new blue badge design which is more secure and will prevent fraud and abuse of the scheme. The private sector has invested the capital needed to develop the service, in return for a charge per badge issued that will be payable by local authorities. This funding arrangement means that there is no cost to the Government for any aspect of the service, including the online form.

The online application system came into force on 1 January 2012. The DFT has not received any complaints about the approximately 20,000 badges that have been printed and issued or the 2,000 applications that have been received through the online application form.

The estimated number of blue badges issued in England was 906,000 in 2009-10 and 939,000 in 2010-11. Estimates for earlier years are not available.

Dartford-Thurrock Crossing: Tolls

Gareth Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the six-month trial to suspend the Dartford Crossing tolls during periods of severe congestion; and how many times the tolls were suspended during the trial. [90532]

Mike Penning: The six month trial using the criteria set out in the suspension of charges protocol for the Dartford Crossing ended on 31 December 2011. The findings are currently being reviewed and it is expected that a report will be available in spring 2012. Until the review is complete, the current protocol will remain in place.

20 Jan 2012 : Column 1015W

During the trial period, the road user charge at the Dartford Crossing was suspended once on 26 August 2011.

Departmental Public Expenditure

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what she proposes will be the total expenditure from (a) her Department's budget and (b) Network Rail's regulated asset base on (i) bridge renewals, (ii) station enhancements and (iii) improving winter resilience in each of the remaining years of the comprehensive spending review period. [90940]

Mrs Villiers: As part of the Growth Review, £250 million of funding was provided for bridge renewals; £26 million was allocated to the Access for All programme to deliver station accessibility improvements; and £10 million was allocated to improved winter resilience. This expenditure was funded via Network Rail's Regulated Asset Base (RAB).

The Department for Transport and Network Rail have agreed that these schemes will be delivered by the end of Control Period 4 (i.e. March 2014).

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport with reference to the Autumn Statement, how much of the cost of the announced investment in (a) bridge renewals, (b) station enhancements and (c) improving winter resilience she proposes will fall beyond the comprehensive spending review period. [90943]

Mrs Villiers: The investments in bridge renewals, station enhancements and winter resilience will all be financed via additions to Network Rail's Regulated Asset Base (RAB).

As with other regulated utilities, additions to the RAB are financed via a return paid to Network Rail and an amortisation (i.e. depreciation) charge. These payments are made over the life of the asset (generally around 30 years).

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency

Anas Sarwar: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate she has made of the cost to her Department of closing regional Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency offices; and what proportion of such costs arise from (a) staff, (b) premises and (c) other costs. [90636]

Mike Penning [holding answer 19 January 2012]: I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 17 January 2012, Official Report, column 638W, with regards to potential costs arising from redundancy. Total one-off costs are estimated as follows:

Total one-off cost s Up to £50 million

Staff

£32 million

Premises

£5 million

Other

Up to £13 million

These costs and savings are under continuous review and the estimated figures provided are subject to refinement.

20 Jan 2012 : Column 1016W

Anas Sarwar: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps her Department is taking to ensure that the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) meets the needs of people who either cannot or choose not to use web-based services and who continue to require face-to-face and postal services if the proposals to centralise DVLA services are implemented. [90632]

Mike Penning [holding answer 19 January 2012]: Responses to the current consultation will enable the DVLA to better understand the needs of all its customers. This will inform the development of the transformation proposals and decisions on the delivery of DVLA services.

Anas Sarwar: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of the likely effect of plans to centralise Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency services on the cost to its customers of its services. [90634]

Mike Penning [holding answer 19 January 2012]: No formal assessment has been completed. Customer responses to the current consultation will be used to inform a detailed assessment of the costs and benefits arising from the proposals. The assessment will be completed after the consultation period has ended.

Anas Sarwar: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of the potential effects on the average length of time taken by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency to carry out driver services-related tasks if proposals to centralise its operations are implemented. [90635]

Mike Penning [holding answer 19 January 2012]: Analysis has been undertaken of all driver transactions conducted within the local office network and the implications of centralising this work. Initial results of this analysis indicate that the centralisation of driver transactions will not affect the agency's ability to meet its Secretary of State targets.

Driver Information Systems

Laura Sandys: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if she will publish the proposed agenda for her Department's planned summit on satellite navigation systems; [90251]

(2) what plans she has to discuss the role of satellite navigation systems in diverting HGVs away from small rural roads at her Department's planned summit on satellite navigation. [90367]

Norman Baker: The Department is developing the agenda for the summit with ADEPT, an association of local authority chief officers, and ITS(UK), a representative body of the satellite navigation industry. The agenda will be shared with participants once finalised.

More information on the background to the workshop can be found in the Government's response to their consultation on road classification, available at:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/publications/road-network-policy/

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High Speed 2

Guy Opperman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans she has to ensure that equipment and materials for High Speed 2 are (a) made in and (b) procured from the north-east. [90674]

Justine Greening: The Government believe that it is important that the UK-based supply chain should be in a position to benefit as far as possible from the opportunities presented by the development and delivery of HS2, including firms in the north-east of England. As set out in the National Infrastructure Plan, HS2 will form part of a long-term pipeline of infrastructure projects in the UK which will enable private sector firms to plan for the future and invest in technology and skills. The Government will also seek to open a dialogue with potential UK-based suppliers to ensure that they are well-placed to bid competitively for future contracts, including making better use of pre-procurement dialogue to encourage efficiency and innovation, and establish more sustainable supply chains.

HM Coastguard

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many vessels HM Coastguard has assisted in each of the last five years. [91049]

Mike Penning: The following table shows the number of incidents in which vessels were assisted by HM Coastguard in each of the last five years.

  Number of incidents where vessels assisted

2007

5,994

2008

5,406

2009

6,571

2010

6,362

2011

6,791

Railways: Fares

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport with reference to section 30 of the Coalition Agreement, what recent progress she has made on the commitment to fair pricing for rail travel. [87500]

Mrs Villiers: The Chancellor of the Exchequer, my right hon. Friend the Member for Tatton (Mr Osborne), announced on 29 November that the Government have secured the funding needed to keep the increase in the cap on average regulated rail fares and Transport for London fares to an average of RPI+1% for 2012.

Railways: Finance

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent assessment she has made of the potential effects of changes to liquidity costs for banks on the funding of (a) rolling stock and (b) infrastructure projects. [87486]

Mrs Villiers: Rolling stock and infrastructure projects that are currently in procurement but not yet signed, are regularly monitored for value for money and affordability. This is done on a case by case basis.

20 Jan 2012 : Column 1018W

Treasury

Bank Services

Teresa Pearce: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will commission an independent cost-benefit analysis of the introduction of portable bank account numbers. [91164]

Mr Gauke: The Independent Commission on Banking (ICB) recommended an account switching and redirection service as a means to promoting competition in the banking market in their final report.

The Government believe that the switching service, as recommended by the ICB, will deliver significant consumer benefits once it is established in September 2013, providing consumers with a safe and reliable service that allows them to hold their bank to account.

The ICB decided not to recommend the introduction of portable account numbers, concluding that

“its costs and incremental benefits are uncertain relative to redirection”

and that

“it appears that redirection may deliver many of the benefits of account number portability at lower cost”.

However, as outlined in the Government response to the ICB report on 19 December 2011, the Government will assess whether or not the new switching service has delivered the expected consumer benefits once the service is operational, and if necessary, will then consider further measures, including full account portability.

Cash Dispensing: Fees and Charges

Teresa Pearce: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has held discussions with (a) publicly owned banks and (b) UK Financial Investments Ltd on cash machine charges for basic bank account holders. [91163]

Mr Hoban: Treasury Ministers and officials meet with, and receive representations from, a wide range of organisations and individuals in the public and private sectors as part of the usual policymaking process. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such representations.

Credit Reference Agencies

Andrew Stephenson: To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the UK maintains its triple A credit rating. [90724]

Mr Hoban: The Government's macroeconomic strategy is designed to protect the economy through this period of instability, to maintain market confidence in the UK and to lay the foundations for a stronger and more balanced economy in the future. The Autumn Statement of 29 November 2011, Official Report, columns 799-810, set out a comprehensive plan to return the public finances to a sustainable position and meet the Government's fiscal targets. In recent months, the major credit rating agencies have re-affirmed the UK's sovereign credit rating at AAA with a stable outlook.

20 Jan 2012 : Column 1019W

Investment

Guy Opperman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is taking steps to reform the banking system by using Government funds to set up an industry bank. [90580]

Mr Hoban: The Government have already taken steps to get credit flowing to UK businesses and to the wider economy. At the Autumn Statement of 29 November 2011, Official Report, columns 799-810, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, my right hon. Friend the Member for Tatton (Mr Osborne), launched a package of interventions worth up to £21 billion to ease the flow of credit to businesses that do not have ready access to capital markets. The package includes a National Loan Guarantee Scheme of up to £20 billion of guarantees for bank funding to lower the cost of lending to smaller businesses, subject to state aid approval; and a new £1 billion Business Finance Partnership to deliver additional finance to mid-sized businesses through non-bank lending channels. This is alongside a range of other Government measures to support small businesses to access finance including the Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG).

The Government are also keen to promote financial stability and competition in the UK banking sector and have already set out their intention to implement the recommendations of the Independent Commission on Banking.

Taxation: Self-assessment

Teresa Pearce: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the categories of employment are in which people are not allowed to file individual self- assessment forms online. [91162]

Mr Gauke: The vast majority of self assessment (SA) taxpayers can file their SA tax return online by using the free HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) self assessment online service or commercial software. The nature of an individual's employment does not necessarily preclude them from filing their SA tax return online. However, a small proportion of SA taxpayers are not able to file online, usually because they need to complete special dedicated pages.

A full list of these exclusions is available on the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) website at:

www.hmrc.gov.uk/ebu/2011-exc-indi.pdf

These customers are not able to file online as it would be disproportionately costly to develop the necessary forms and links to departmental computer systems.

Women and Equalities

Gender Recognition

Paul Maynard: To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities what steps she plans to take to address transgender discrimination. [90546]

Lynne Featherstone: In December 2011, the Government published “Advancing transgender equality: a plan for action,” the first ever Government transgender equality action plan. This plan includes firm cross-Government

20 Jan 2012 : Column 1020W

commitments to be delivered throughout the lifetime of this Parliament. It outlines the actions Government will take to improve the lives of transgender people in all areas of public policy, including in education, employment, hate crime, and health and social care.

The Government will continue to work with and support public bodies, businesses, practitioners and the voluntary sector throughout the delivery of the commitments included.

Work and Pensions

Carer’s Allowance

Andrea Leadsom: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will allow carers who reach state pension age to continue to claim carer's allowance. [90953]

Steve Webb: The Government have no current plans to make any changes to the conditions of entitlement for carer's allowance.

Children: Disadvantaged

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what assessment he has made of the effect of material deprivation on the levels of subjective well-being of children; [90145]

(2) what assessment he has made of the effect of levels of household income on the levels of subjective well-being of children; [90146]

(3) what research his Department has commissioned to measure the subjective well-being of children; [90152]

(4) what assessment his Department has made of the potential effects of the provisions of the Welfare Reform Bill on levels of subjective well-being of children. [90154]

Maria Miller: The Department for Work and Pensions is working with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and a range of stakeholders, including other Government Departments and representatives from the third sector, to develop well-being measures for children and young people as part of the overall Measuring National Well-being Programme.

Measures appropriate to children and young people need to include both their own views about their well-being as well as more objective measures of the circumstances that children and young people find themselves in. Collecting subjective well-being information from children is important because research has shown that parents' reporting of children's subjective well-being is quite different from the way children report it themselves.

This work will provide more robust intelligence about children's well-being and the factors that contribute to it, provide a measure of children's well-being in the UK in comparison to other comparable countries, and drive policy prioritisation to improve outcomes for children and young people. This is a developing field of research, being led by ONS. Once their analysis is complete, we will consider its application to income and material deprivation statistics.

20 Jan 2012 : Column 1021W

The Department has also commissioned a research project to investigate the determinants of well-being across the lifecycle, which will look at both childhood well-being and well-being at later stages to see how these inter-relate and how childhood well-being is linked to adult outcomes.

More generally, the Department considers the impact of policies on groups with protected characteristics that are likely to be affected, as the equalities duty requires. Age is one of the protected characteristics.

For example, the Department has considered the impact of welfare reform on children. Work and the improved incomes that flow from it, have beneficial effects in terms of people's health and well-being, the educational achievements of children and improvements in communities, such as reduced crime and antisocial behaviour.

Universal credit will improve work incentives by allowing individuals to keep more of their income as they move into work, and by introducing a smoother and more transparent reduction of benefits when they increase their earnings. In the long run universal credit could reduce the number of workless households by as much as 300,000 according to the Impact Assessment published by the Department for Work and Pensions in October 2011.

The greater simplicity of universal credit is also expected to lead to a substantial increase in the take-up of currently unclaimed benefits, with most of the impact being at the lower end of the income distribution. The Impact Assessment published in October 2011 estimates that, on reasonable assumptions, the combined impact of take-up and entitlements will lift around 900,000 individuals out of poverty, including more than 350,000 children and around 550,000 working-age adults.

The Department is also reforming the child maintenance system. It is our strong view that it is the best outcome for the children if separating parents make a collaborative family based agreement wherever possible. Through better co-ordinated and strengthened family support services and wider reforms, we will help and encourage parents to reach a collaborative arrangement. However for those parents who cannot make their own arrangement we will introduce a new statutory child maintenance service in 2012 to enable us to better calculate and collect money for children.

Additionally, when preparing the 2011 Child Poverty Strategy, the Child Poverty Unit worked with the Office of the Children's Commissioner to get opinions from children and their parents as to what they thought the strategy should contain. This was published by the Children's Commissioner as “Consulting with Children and Young People on Child Poverty (2011)”.

Council Tax

Mr Raynsford: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will publish the council tax benefit data published in Table 15a and Table 15b by his Department on 14 December 2011 at national aggregate level for each (a) local authority and (b) parliamentary constituency showing (i) council tax benefit recipients by age group and family type at September 2011 and (ii) council tax benefit recipients' average weekly award by age group and family type at September 2011. [R] [89576]

20 Jan 2012 : Column 1022W

Steve Webb: A copy of the available information has been placed in the Library.

Disability Living Allowance

Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to his Department's consultation on disability living allowance, for what reasons the increase in the number of claimants of disability living allowance requires the allowance to be reformed. [89716]

Maria Miller: Reform of DLA is long overdue. The new personal independence payment will be designed to support disabled people and enable support to be targeted on those who face the greatest barriers to leading full, active and independent lives.

We want to create a benefit that is affordable and sustainable in the long term. The total number of people claiming disability living allowance has risen almost 30% in the last eight years, from 2.5 million to 3.2 million in 2010-11, almost three quarters of which is not attributable to demographics, and total DLA expenditure has increased over the same period by almost £3.4 billion (nearly 40% in 2011-12 prices.) If unreformed the number claiming DLA would rise to 3.5 million. The cost of this would be unsustainable. However this is only one of a number of factors underpinning reform.

There is also no systematic process of reviewing whether awards remain correct and an over-reliance on self-assessment—only around 50% of applications for DLA are corroborated by medical evidence. In 2004-05 the National Benefit Review estimated that £630 million of incorrect payments were being made to individuals whose condition had changed. Equally concerning is that £190 million was not claimed despite individuals experiencing deteriorating conditions. It cannot be right that individuals receive incorrect awards, and our reforms will ensure awards are regularly reviewed in a proportionate way.

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will assess the findings of the report entitled Responsible Reform: A report on the proposed changes to Disability Living Allowance, published by Dr S J Campbell and other disability representatives; and if he will make a statement. [90885]

Maria Miller: I am aware of the publication of this report. I believe that the report seriously misrepresents the way the Department has carried out consultation and design of necessary reforms to disability living allowance. In particular the report fails to acknowledge the extensive work that the Department has done since the formal consultation on DLA reform ended nearly a year ago. We have also had ongoing meetings with disabled people and representative organisations and have just commenced a further, formal consultation of 15 weeks on revised assessment criteria as a result of the earlier informal consultation.

These discussions have led to significant changes to our plans. For example, we will not be removing the mobility component from care home residents and we have decided that the qualifying period will be three months instead of six. We have also listened and made

20 Jan 2012 : Column 1023W

significant changes to the assessment criteria as a result of our engagement with disabled people and their organisations. These developments reflect our determination that the design and development of personal independence payment should be through active engagement with disabled people and their representative organisations.

The case for reform is clear—DLA is confusing for individuals to understand, based on unclear criteria and often results in inconsistent awards. Expenditure is also far in excess of the initial estimated costs and it currently costs £12.6 billion. We need to ensure that the benefit is sustainable, and that it reflects the needs of disabled people today, rather than in the 1990s. Our reforms will ensure that support is targeted on those who face the greatest challenges to take part in everyday life.

Employer’s Liability

Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 9 September 2011, Official Report, column 908W, on employers’ liability, when he expects to make a final announcement on the status and funding arrangements of the Employers’ Liability Insurance Bureau. [90646]

Chris Grayling: I appreciate that the Government's response to the consultation is taking longer to publish than many had hoped. However the issues raised are complex and we remain in discussions with all stakeholders to make sure we get this right. We are still carefully considering all the issues and will bring forward our proposals in due course.

Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 9 September 2011, Official Report, column 908W, on employers liability, which stakeholders (a) Ministers and (b) officials have met to discuss employer liability insurance since May 2010; and if he will make a statement. [90647]

Chris Grayling: Since May 2010 the Minister for Welfare Reform, Lord Freud, has met with representatives from the Association of British Insurers and Zurich, Aviva and RSA Insurance to discuss the proposals in the public consultation, “Accessing compensation—supporting people who need to trace employers' liability insurance”.

Additionally he has had discussions with the Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum UK, the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, the Association of Run-Off Companies, the Financial Services Authority, the Financial Services Compensation scheme, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Health and Safety and a representative from the Trades Union Congress.

DWP officials have met with the same groups of stakeholders as well as Resolute Management Services Ltd. They also chaired the annual meeting of the Employers' Liability Code of Practice Review Body.

Employment Schemes

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 16 January 2012, Official Report, column 594W, on employment schemes, for each individual contracted

20 Jan 2012 : Column 1024W

provider what the proportion was of jobseekers who started on the Flexible New Deal and entered employment up to

(a)

three months,

(b)

six months,

(c)

nine months and

(d)

12 months after starting on the programme. [90946]

Chris Grayling: Flexible new deal providers were paid on the basis of a monthly service fee and payments for job outcomes both short-term (13 weeks in continuous employment) and sustained outcomes (26/30 weeks in employment). Participants stayed on the programme for up to 12 months although three month extensions were available.

The following figures are based on participants who started prior to September 2010 and hence could have spent a year on the programme prior to contract termination. They show the percentage of participants with each flexible new deal provider who achieved a 13 week job outcome which started within x months of their entry to flexible new deal.

Percentage of FND participants who achieved Job Outcome which started by: 3 months 6 months 9 months 12 months

A4e (5 contracts)

9

15

19

20

Calder Holdings

11

16

19

21

Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council

8

12

15

16

EOS-Works Ltd

9

14

17

19

Ingeus (2 contracts)

10

16

19

21

Max Employment UK Ltd

13

20

25

27

Pertemps People Development Group

12

19

23

25

Remploy

10

16

19

21

Seetec

9

14

18

20

Serco (3 contracts)

10

16

19

21

Skills Training UK Ltd

11

18

22

24

The Wise Group

10

15

19

20

TNG

12

18

21

23

Working Links (4 contracts)

9

15

19

20

Overall

10

16

19

21

Source: Provider Referrals and Payment System Management Information (December 2011)

Employment: Care Industry

Richard Harrington: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many jobs in the care industry were advertised in jobcentres in December 2011; and what proportion of these vacancies were filled. [90182]

Chris Grayling: The information requested is not available in the format requested. Such information as is available is as follows:

The number of care assistants and home carers vacancies notified for the month ending 2 December 2011 (commonly referred to as December 2011) for Great Britain was 35,879.

Industrial Health and Safety

Mr Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of health and safety rules relating to local events. [91156]

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Chris Grayling: The Government are concerned to ensure that local events are not unnecessarily constrained by unnecessary health and safety regulations. These issues are taken further in the two Government reports, “Common Sense Common Safety”, published in 2010, and, “Good Health and Safety, Good for Everyone”, published in 2011.

Additionally the Health and Safety Executive set up a Challenge Panel on 5 January 2012 to enable business to challenge specific health and safety regulatory advice. A second panel—to be set up later this year—will be available for those who wish to challenge claims made about health and safety requirements by non-regulators.

Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit

Mr Slaughter: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many applications for industrial injuries disablement benefit have been made in each of the last four years; and how many were (a) awarded on first application, (b) awarded after an internal review and (c) awarded after a First Tier Tribunal hearing. [89726]

Chris Grayling: The information on claim numbers and assessments put into payment following internal reviews or following a First Tier Tribunal hearing is not available. The number of claims and payable assessments for the last four years is as follows:

IIDB claims and decision outcomes
  Claims received Decisions made Assessments not payable Assessments payable

January to March 2011

8,190

9,480

1,800

3,670

2010

41,740

58,590

15,570

23,650

2009

63,840

41,440

8,020

14,720

2008

35,050

33,070

5,560

12,160

Notes: 1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10. 2. Payment for IIDB is dependent on the individual's level of disability. The threshold for payment of industrial injuries disablement benefit is a disablement assessment of 14%. A successful claim can be an assessment at 1% disablement, which would not of itself give rise to benefit. 3. There is a time delay between claims being made and first assessments taking place. Comparing claims and payable first assessments will give an estimated success rate only as decisions on claims submitted are not necessarily made in the same time period. For this reason the number of first assessments made in a year may exceed the number of claims made. Prescribed Disease A14 (Osteoarthritis of the knee in miners) was introduced from 13 July 2009. This resulted in a large number of claims, many of which did not receive first assessments until early 2010. This accounts for the apparent particularly large anomaly between numbers of claims and first assessments in 2009-10. 4. Includes claims to Prescribed Disease A11 under new regulations from 1 October 2007. 5. Information is published at: http://statistics.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd1/iidb/index.php?page=iidb_quarterly_mar11

Pensions

Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether he plans to increase the 25 pence per week pension increase payable to individuals aged 80 or older. [90954]

20 Jan 2012 : Column 1026W

Steve Webb: In April 2011, we set out proposals for reform of the state pension system in a Green Paper “A State Pension for the 21(st) Century”. This provides an opportunity to review all aspects of the state pension scheme, including elements such as the age addition, to ensure that any reformed system is affordable, sustainable and supports the needs of future pensioners; who will face different challenges in retirement than today's pensioners.

Paul Goggins: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in the UK hold self-invested personal pensions; and what estimate has been made of their total value. [91001]

Steve Webb: The information requested is not available because it is not collected from pension providers.

Information about the number of people contributing to personal and stakeholder pensions and the value of their contributions can be found on the HMRC website in tables 7.4 and 7.5 at the following address:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/pensions/menu-by-year.htm

Information about the total value of defined contribution pensions can be found in the Office for National Statistics publication “Wealth in Great Britain.”

Social Security Benefits

Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average total level of benefits received per household in receipt of benefits was in (a) Poplar and Limehouse constituency, (b) the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and (c) nationally in the latest period for which figures are available. [89872]

Chris Grayling: While information on DWP administered benefits is available at constituency level, we do not hold complete information on those benefits administered by other Government Departments and organisations. Restricting analysis to those benefits administered directly by DWP may present a misleading picture of benefit receipt. In addition, we estimate that developing an appropriate methodology and quality assuring any analysis of DWP administrative data would exceed disproportionate cost limits.

According to the latest release of the Family Resource Survey (FRS), the median weekly household income from benefits and tax credits for households with at least one member in receipt of at least one benefit or tax credit in the United Kingdom in 2009-10 was £141. The sample size of the FRS is not large enough to provide robust estimates at the constituency or borough level.

Notes:

1. Numbers have been rounded to the nearest pound.

2. The estimates are based on sample counts that have been adjusted for non-response using multi-purpose grossing factors that control for tenure type, council tax band and a number of demographic variables.

3. Estimates are subject to sampling error and remaining non-sampling bias.

4. The FRS is known to under-record benefit receipt. Please see table M6 of Chapter 7 of the latest publication for more information:

http://statistics.dwp.gov.uk/asd/frs/2009_10/frs_2009_10_report.pdf

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5. These figures have not been adjusted to account for different household sizes.

6. A household refers to a single person or group of people living at the same address as their only or main residence, who either share one meal a day together or share the living accommodation (i.e. a living room). A household will consist of one or more benefit units.

UK Law

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions which EU (a) Directives, (b) Regulations and (c) other legislation affecting his Department require transposition into UK law; and what estimate he has made of the cost to (i) the public purse and (ii) the private sector of such measures. [89679]

Chris Grayling: The EU Directives affecting the Department for Work and Pensions and requiring transposition into UK law are as follows:

Directive 2010/41/EU on the application of the principle of equal treatment between men and women engaged in an activity in a self employed capacity. This repeals council directive 86/613/EEC. Data are limited in this area but we estimate costs to the public purse to be less than £1 million per annum. The transposition is not expected to impose any costs on the private sector.

Directive 2010/32/EU on the Framework Agreement on prevention from sharp injuries in the hospital and health care sector concluded by HOSPEEM and the European Federation of Public Service Unions. This requires transposition by 11 May 2013. An impact assessment is being prepared, but costs to the private sector are likely to be low. As the directive relates to risks of injury to workers in the health care sector we anticipate that the majority of costs will fall to the NHS. Administrative costs of transposing the directive are estimated at around £140,000.

Unemployment: Immigration

Mr Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the Migration Advisory Committee's report on the link between immigration and unemployment. [91158]

Chris Grayling: No formal assessment has been made of the Migration Advisory Committee report, but I welcome the contribution the committee's work is making to our understanding of the role migration plays in the UK labour market.

Its conclusions are consistent with the direction of Government policies that are focused on bringing migration down to more sustainable levels. We are undertaking a radical shake up of the welfare system and investing to improve the skills of the existing UK work force. This will ensure that people are better prepared for, have more incentive and face more requirements to take up work, reducing the degree to which we rely on migrant workers.

Work Capability Assessments

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to page 14 of the Government's response to Professor Malcolm

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Harrington's Second Independent Review of the Work Capability Assessment, what proportion of

(a)

doctors,

(b)

nurses and

(c)

physiotherapists were assessed as (i) A-grade, (ii) B-grade, (iii) C-grade and (iv) D-grade, by region. [90316]

Chris Grayling: Health care professionals (HCPs) are not categorised in terms of A, B and C as some may have more than one audit undertaken.

The results in respect of the audit data referred to in page 14 of the Government's response to Professor Harrington's second independent review of the work capability assessment are shown in the following table.

It shows overall the number of reports for each practitioner type that achieved either an A, B, or C grade following audit.

Sum of count of audits
Percentage
  Overall grade code
Practitioner type A B C Grand Total

Medical Adviser

71.5

24.8

3.7

100.0

Registered nurse

70.2

25.0

4.8

100.0

Registered physiotherapist

71.1

28.9

0.0

100.0

Grand total

70.7

25.1

4.2

100.0

At audit category D is not a recognised category.

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to page 14 of the Government's response to Professor Malcolm Harrington's Second Independent Review of the Work Capability Assessment, how often each Atos approved health care professional is subject to (a) auditing and (b) quality checking. [90317]

Chris Grayling: The frequency of audit/quality checking varies. For example, targeted audit is carried out where a quality, rework or complaint issue has been identified in order to establish whether there is evidence of an ongoing problem and the number of cases audited is determined by the health care professional's mentor or medical manager. However, as a minimum, the work of every health care professional in each benefit stream and function is audited six monthly on a rolling basis.

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to page 14 of the Government's response to Professor Malcolm Harrington's Second Independent Review of the Work Capability Assessment, what proportion of (a) doctors, (b) nurses and (c) physiotherapists received more than one C-grade assessment. [90318]

Chris Grayling: In respect to the audited data referred to in page 14 of the Government's response to Professor Harrington's second independent review of the Work Capability Assessment the results are:

  Percentage

(a) Doctors

1.3

(b) Nurses

1.1

(c) Physiotherapists

0

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Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to page 16 of the Government's response to Professor Malcolm Harrington's Second Independent Review of the Work Capability Assessment, what proportion of (a) employment and support allowance (ESA) claimants fail to return the initial ESA50 questionnaire, (b) ESA claimants fail to attend the Work Capability Assessment, (c) Work Capability Assessment decisions meet the criteria in the Decision Making Quality Assessment Framework, (d) reconsiderations are received, (e) decisions are changed following reconsideration, (f) appeals are received and (g) appeals are upheld. [90321]

Chris Grayling: As detailed in the Government's response, DWP will be using a wide range of indices and management information to monitor the impact of the changes introduced as a result of Professor Harrington's first independent review.

Changes to the ESA process were introduced from October 2011 to better support claimants throughout the process, ensuring they understand what is required of them and why a particular decision has been made. It is anticipated that these changes will result in a reduction in the rates of failure to return the initial ESA50 questionnaire and failure to attend the work capability assessment and appeals as well as improvements to decision making standards which may result in both less reconsiderations and decisions being overturned at appeal. However it is too early as yet to report any findings resulting from the changes in October.

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to page 19 of the Government's response to Professor Malcolm Harrington's Second Independent Review of the Work Capability Assessment, if he will publish the results of his Department's monthly monitor of recruitment and retention of Atos-approved health care professionals. [90331]

Chris Grayling: The Department for Work and Pensions monitors on a monthly basis the recruitment and retention of Atos-approved health care professionals.

At the monthly Executive Management Board (EMB) Atos Healthcare provide DWP with a report detailing recruitment, attrition, and capacity.

However the information contained within this report is commercial in confidence. It cannot be released as release of the information would prejudice the interests of Atos Healthcare and the Department's future dealings with Atos Healthcare or other service providers.

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to page 20 of the Government's response to Professor Malcolm Harrington's Second Independent Review of the Work Capability Assessment, when he last met the UK Drug Policy Commission to discuss the support offered to employment and support allowance claimants with drug and alcohol misuse-related conditions. [90333]

Chris Grayling: The Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, my hon. Friend the Member for Basingstoke (Maria Miller), and I met with representatives from the UK Drug Policy Commission on 26 January 2011

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at which the discussion included various methods of providing support both in work and in the transition back into employment to people with drug and alcohol misuse-related conditions.

As part of Second Independent Review Professor Harrington met with the UK Drug Policy Commission, and as set out in our response to Professor Harrington we have committed to engage with the UK Drug Policy Commission and other relevant experts during 2012 as part of implementing his recommendations.

Work Programme

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what mechanism he has put in place to alert his Department to potential prime provider failure on the Work programme. [90933]

Chris Grayling: The Department has set minimum performance standards for Work programme providers and we will use internal job outcome information to provide early warning of any potential failure to deliver these standards.

Minimum standards have been set for each of the main participant groups, requiring providers to deliver job outcome results that are at least 10% higher than would have been expected if those same groups had not joined the programme.

We will intervene and take action, with the aim of improving performance, against providers who fail to meet the minimum standards. If those performance improvements are not achieved within a short timescale, action up to and including contract termination will be taken.

In addition the Department will encourage ongoing competition by shifting market share from those who perform least well to the best performing provider in the contract package area.

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether the outcome data for the Work programme to be published in autumn 2012 will include the number of referrals to and outcome payments received by individual tier 1 and tier 2 providers in each contract package area. [90937]

Chris Grayling: Official statistics on Work programme referrals and attachments up to October 2011 will be published in February 2012. Statistics on job outcomes will be released from autumn 2012. DWP collects data at prime provider level and therefore the published statistics will report only to prime provider level for each contract.

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the total value is of Work programme contracts awarded to each individual prime provider. [90938]

Chris Grayling: Work programme funding for providers is based primarily on results. Total spend depends on performance. Our forecasts are for expenditure to be in the region of £3 billion to £5 billion over the life of contracts.

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Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 16 January 2012, Official Report, column 600W, on Work programme, which organisation he has commissioned to provide the independent evaluation of the Work programme. [90948]

20 Jan 2012 : Column 1032W

Chris Grayling: The Department for Work and Pensions has commissioned a consortium led by the Institute for Employment Studies (IES) to undertake an independent evaluation of the Work programme. Evaluation work started in autumn 2011 and will conclude in 2014.